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For example, the templates provided on the Open Source Initiative website for the 3-clause BSD License, and the MIT License both include an all-caps warranty disclaimer, though the rest of the license is written with normal capitalisation.

Is there some genuine reason for this? Or is it just a tradition to make the warranty disclaimer harder to read?

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I don't think that all caps really means something is being shouted, I believe that the internet people just adopted it to mean that. – Woot4Moo Jan 13 '11 at 21:12
I think it's to make it harder to read. It was the only way they could come up with to make it even more confusing. – Brian Knoblauch Jan 13 '11 at 21:18
@Woot4Moo: The use of "shouted" in the question was an internet colloquialism, it was not intended to be taken literally. I'm amazed anyone needed that to be spelled out (then again maybe you didn't mean your comment to be taken literally either? :P) – John Bartholomew Jan 13 '11 at 21:20
It's always so hard to determine with online =p – Woot4Moo Jan 13 '11 at 22:01
up vote 32 down vote accepted

Most legal jurisdictions in the US mandate that warranty information in a contract must be conspicuous. Since source code is plain text, I suppose it was decided at some point that the best way to make text conspicuous was to capitalize it, and the precedent stuck.

Simple answer: it's required by law.

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Great answer to a great question! +1's all round :-) – Dean Harding Jan 13 '11 at 22:36

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